Tuesday 6 December 2016

Sinn Féin politicians are set for a pay rise

Published 16/09/2016 | 02:30

Subsidising the party activists: Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams. Photo: Tom Burke
Subsidising the party activists: Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams. Photo: Tom Burke

Sinn Féin's elected representatives are set for a rise in their take-home pay soon, party leader Gerry Adams has signalled.

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The party had officially insisted that its TDs, senators and MEPs restrict themselves to the minimum industrial wage, while using the difference to help fund party political work.

In practice it meant that a TD grossing €87,000 per year would in fact be paid closer to €38,000 - although expenses were allowed for.

Many elected politicians said they were unable to meet cost-of-living expenses, including childcare, and they sought an overhaul of this apparently stoic regime.

Read more: Gerry Adams hints at stepping down as Sinn Fein president - 'not a case of if, but when'

In April of this year a big change was signalled and yesterday Mr Adams said details were close to being finalised and it would be dealt with by the national executive later this month.

He said Sinn Féin had to deal with the demands that are on people in these difficult times.

"We always saw the need to subsidise our activists. But people have families to rear, and do all of the things we all have to do, like mortgages and getting kids through college, and so on," he said.

"We have been well served by the system we have had so far."

Mr Adams was speaking on day one of the party's two-day pre-Dáil think-in at a hotel in Co Meath.

Distressed

The party's TDs, senators, Northern Ireland assembly members, and MEPs, will discuss Nama, Brexit, mental health and homelessness, and hear from ICTU secretary general Patricia King as well as a senior manager from Twitter on cyber-bullying.

Mr Adams was also seriously critical of Fianna Fáil's about-face on demanding an official inquiry into the Nama sale of distressed properties in the North.

Irish Independent

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